Definition of thicken in English:



  • Make or become thick or thicker.

    [with object] ‘thicken the sauce with flour’
    [no object] ‘the fog had thickened’
    • ‘As we go over another pass, the fog thickens and the temperature drops.’
    • ‘I have short lashes and this lengthens and thickens them.’
    • ‘The fog thickened as they rumbled up the steep road.’
    • ‘I made a very nice sausage casserole and needed to thicken it up a bit.’
    • ‘Because this treatment does not thicken the lashes - as mascara does - you can afford to go much darker without it looking overdone.’
    • ‘Before long the fog started to thicken as it crept down the gulf from the North.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that they were only a few hundred feet offshore, the pre-dawn fog had gradually thickened dramatically limiting visibility.’
    • ‘The important thing is to cook the potatoes with enough moisture to both steam and boil them at the same time, allowing the outside of the potato to disintegrate and thicken the stock.’
    • ‘The company, which produces stabilising ingredients for thickening food, is hoping to extend and refurbish its premises to allow for Epping employees to move to Braintree.’
    • ‘Simmer for a further 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pineapple sauce has thickened, then leave to cool.’
    • ‘As the fog thickened, I heard voices from where James had disappeared.’
    • ‘The stars were the first to vanish, hidden by the haze, then the sea below was lost in a carpet of mist, and in a few moments, the bow of the ship began fading from view as the fog thickened.’
    • ‘This is noticeable when a white sauce thickens.’
    • ‘Add slowly to the pot and allow the sauce to thicken.’
    • ‘The fog thickens as the sun tries to peek through the cloud of mist below.’
    • ‘Snails done in a sauce thickened with crème fraîche were similarly bland.’
    • ‘Crush some of the cooked potatoes against the side of the pan to thicken the soup.’
    • ‘When she made a blanquette of veal, he would beat three egg yolks with a fork while she poured in the stock; he was fascinated by the transformation as it thickened into a sauce.’
    • ‘Add the milk and Parmesan cheese and simmer for one to two minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.’
    • ‘They rode on through the moors, the fog thickening around them as they passed looming, twisted trees and hulking gray rocks, fuzzy with moss and mist.’
    • ‘As you stir it in, the condensed milk will thicken.’
    become thick, become thicker, stiffen, become firmer
    View synonyms


  • the plot thickens

    • Used when a situation is becoming more and more complicated and puzzling.

      • ‘Expect lots of guns, flying bullets, high-speed chases and a huge body count as the tension rises and the plot thickens.’
      • ‘So the plot thickens… But little do they know that I will turn everything to my advantage.’
      • ‘This claim opens up new dimensions in the story line leading to new revelations: the plot thickens and becomes more complex.’
      • ‘When his friend Sergio turns up, without explanation, the plot thickens.’
      • ‘‘Ahh… and the plot thickens,’ he said with a smile.’
      • ‘But here the plot thickens and the mystery deepens.’
      • ‘As the plot thickens, the suspect first begins to lose freedom, then dignity, and then any kind of self-respect.’
      • ‘But the plot thickens because there are another couple of men who were involved in this, but they were actually able to leave the country before it was uncovered.’
      • ‘From then on, the plot thickens with gangland hit men, police snoopers, media feeding frenzies, and nasty sexual shenanigans.’
      • ‘Except she's not my girlfriend anymore because - don't you love it when the plot thickens? - she dumped me.’
      • ‘It is at this stage that the plot thickens and sympathy for some parents vanishes.’
      • ‘She herself is married too and the plot thickens when her husband is murdered.’
      become more complicated, become more involved, become more intricate, become more mysterious, deepen
      View synonyms